updated 02:30 pm EDT, Fri July 25, 2008
Sanyo Eneloop Wii
Sanyo has branched out into gaming peripherals with the launch of the Contact Charger for Wii. The add-on combines an Eneloop nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable battery pack with a cradle to give a Wii remote both a longer active use time of about 6.5 hours as well as a much simpler way to recharge for the next session. As suggested by its name, the remote doesn't require a proprietary connector and is sensitive enough to work even with the Wii's protective jacket in place.
A single Wii remote will be fully powered from empty in slightly more than 3.5 hours, though Sanyo notes that multiple chargers can be strung together to charge four controls one after the other instead of having to plug each into a separate power jack.
The official debut of the Contactless Charger takes place on August 25, when it should be available for the equivalent of $72 in Japan. Sanyo hasn't said whether it will export the power bundle elsewhere and may need to adapt the cradle to North American power ports to bring it to the US. [via Akihabara]